Shifa al-Nima was accused of ordering the destruction of heritage sites in Mosul. He was so fat that after being captured, he had to be put in the back of a truck, next to a mounted machine gun.
A massively obese ISIS “mufti” was pulled from his hiding place by elite Iraqi SWAT team members in a raid on Thursday. He is considered to be one of the “biggest” captures in recent months. Photos show that the tremendously large man – one report saying he weighed 560lbs – was too large to fit into a police car and had to be put in the back of a police vehicle, wedged between a mounted machine gun and the back of the lorry. He was carted off to prison.
Latest photos for #ISIS Mufti. He was the strongest supporter of demolishing Mosul heritage. He used to give the Friday Sermon in my neighborhood. He cheered up in the very Friday after the blowing of Prophet Jonah Mosque in the early days of their invasion. Social media https://t.co/VWOCR4nmJE pic.twitter.com/zGYoVSuAaF — Ali Y. Al-Baroodi (@AliBaroodi) January 16, 2020
Shifa al-Nima was nabbed by the SWAT regiment of the Nineveh police command in northern Iraq’s Mosul district, according to Iraq’s security media cell. The country has continued to fight ISIS even amid months of protests and recent US-Iran tensions there. The US-led coalition suspended anti-ISIS operations earlier this month but has recently tried to restart them.
According Iraqi police, this “mufti” was a well-known preacher who spread extremism in mosques against security forces and incited on behalf of ISIS.
“He is considered one of the foremost leaders of ISIS and was responsible for issuing fatwas that led to the murder of scholars and clerics,” the police said.
Nima also issued the fatwa to bomb the tomb of the Prophet Yunus in Mosul, an ancient cultural site. He was arrested in western Mosul’s Mansur neighborhood, the so-called “right side” of the city due to its being on the right bank of the Tigris river.
Locals in Mosul have terrible memories of the “mufti,” who they say was a strong supporter of destroying Mosul’s heritage.
Photos posted online show that the ISIS member had become massively obese in hiding, weighing several hundred pounds. It was unclear how he was removed from his hiding place; many online mocked his weight, saying he must have been hiding in a bakery.
Photos from his time as a mufti under ISIS show him smiling and relaxing. His name is sometimes given as “Shia Naemah,” Shifa bin Ali al-Nima’a or Abu Abdul Bari.
ISIS continues to have a presence in Iraq, but it has been unable to launch major operations. Nevertheless, it has many sleeper cells and also has members living in caves and hideouts in rural areas of Iraq, preparing for a resurgence.